Inferential Justification and the Transparency of Belief

Noûs 50 (1):184-212 (2016)
Abstract
This paper critically examines currently influential transparency accounts of our knowledge of our own beliefs that say that self-ascriptions of belief typically are arrived at by “looking outward” onto the world. For example, one version of the transparency account says that one self-ascribes beliefs via an inference from a premise to the conclusion that one believes that premise. This rule of inference reliably yields accurate self-ascriptions because you cannot infer a conclusion from a premise without believing the premise, and so you cannot infer from a premise that you believe the premise unless you do believe it. I argue that this procedure cannot be a source of justification, however, because one can be justified in inferring from p that q only if p amounts to strong evidence that q is true. This is incompatible with the transparency account because p often is not very strong evidence that you believe that p. For example, unless you are a weather expert, the fact that it will rain is not very strong evidence that you believe it will rain. After showing how this intuitive problem can be made precise, I conclude with a broader lesson about the nature of inferential justification: that beliefs, when justified, must be underwritten by beliefs, when justified, must be underwritten by evidential relationships between the facts or propositions which those beliefs represent.
Keywords evidence  inference  introspection  Moore's paradox  transparency
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12088
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References found in this work BETA
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.

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Citations of this work BETA
Embedded Mental Action in Self-Attribution of Belief.Antonia Peacocke - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):353-377.
Introspection, Mindreading, and the Transparency of Belief.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
Kumārila and Knows-Knows.Daniel Immerman - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):408-422.

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